Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ziji: dZi, Zi, Ji...Brilliance & Splendor


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Tibetan Dzi Stone Beads....."To Tibetans and other Himalayan people, the dZi is a "precious jewel of supernatural origin" with great power to protect its wearer from disaster. The Tibetan people believe dZi beads are spiritual stones fallen from Heaven which bring good karma to those who own them. The ancient Dzi absorbs cosmic energy from the universe. Tibetans generally believe that dZi beads are of divine origin and therefore not created by human hands. Some say they are dropped by the Gods to benefit those who have the good fortune to find them. Since they are believed to have a divine source, they are considered to be a very precious and powerful amulet. Beads can often be seen in Tibetan temples adorning the most revered statues and sacred relics. They are thought to bring good fortune, ward off evil, and protect the wearer from physical harm and illness."

"Reputed to be the most powerful and prized of all Dzi beads, a 9-eyed Dzi is believed to be able to gather the Nine-Fold Merits & bring immense benefits & the most complete blessings. The meaning of the Tibetan word "Dzi" translates to "shine, brightness, clearness, splendour".

"Dzi stones made their first appearance between 2000 and 1000 BC, a few hundred thousand were supposedly brought back by Tibetan soldiers from Persia or ancient Tajikistan during a raid... In Tibetan culture these beads are believed to attract local protectors, dharmapalas or deities or maybe beneficial ghosts, ancestors or even bodhisattvas. Because of this, dzi beads are always treated with respect." .... Pattison, Eliot. (2004). Beautiful Ghost. St Martin Press.

Norbu..."The Necklace of Gzi: Cultural History of Tibet"...1981

Ziji appears in the language of both Buddhism and Shambhala....."The Vidyadhara commented that both zi and ji have a sense of light and brilliance to them, glossing zi as “shine” or “glitter,” and ji as “splendor.” He added that ji also carries a sense of “monolithic.” In keeping with that, when translating buddhadharma we have rendered ziji as “splendor,” “radiance,” “brilliance,” and “full of splendor.” One piece of etymology might be of interest here: zi also can mean a variety of precious stone unique to Tibet, a type of black and white striped agate with “eyes.” The more eyes, the more it was valued in Tibetan culture, and as an historical note, the Vidyadhara often wore a theb-long (thumb ring) made of zi, a gift to him from Namgyal Ronge, brother of Noedup and Palden. In the Shambhala teachings, ziji has particular importance. Though on occasion, especially in our early days, we translated ziji as “light,” we quickly settled on two renderings that the Vidyadhara felt brought out the inner quality that resulted in an outer radiance: “confidence” and “dignity.” These are key terms in the Shambhala teachings. In fact, both render the one Tibetan phrase, ziji. The choice we made largely depended on the context—often the result of lengthy discussions with the tertön, the Druk Sakyong."....

Norbu..."Dzogchen: The Self Perfected State"....1996

Norbu...The Mirror: Advice on the Presence of Awareness...1996

Norbu, Namkhai "Drung, Deu, and Bon: Narrations, Symboloic languages, and the Bon traditions in ancient Tibet"... 1995

Ebbinghouse, David and Winsten, Michael (1988). "Tibetan dZi (gZi) Beads". The Tibet Journal 13

Not all pure dzi comes in the shape of tube. The above goat’s eye dzi (Lumik in Tibetan language) is in round shape. This bead is the traditional and effective amulet for Tibetan when they are traveling.


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….January 2013


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